Friday, June 27, 2008

This morning as I was sanding the curved back for the rustic chair, I couldn't help thinking in nautical terms. The word in mind was fair. When the hand passes of over the shape of something, it is far better than the eye at noting qualities of form, and fair is the nautical term meaning smooth and even, without inappropriate variation.

I have fallen in love with the magazine Wooden Boat and I picked up the August issue at the book store this afternoon and plan to subscribe. There is no greater force in the restoration of the hand to its rightful place in human culture than the love of crafting wooden boats. This particular issue has a lot to offer anyone who loves wood, and there is a section devoted to understanding the lumber required for making boats.The magazine is full of practical advice on making and caring for wooden boats, but it also contains such things as the following by author Lawrence W. Cheek in an essay called "Perfectionism and the Wooden Boat:
If a boat is ugly--clunkily proportioned, sloppily detailed, pocked with epoxy leprosy--it's a form of visual pollution, dishonoring human intelligence and squandering the materials that went into it. If it's beautiful, it leaves ripples of pleasure in its wake, enhancing life on Earth in some small way. The presence of beauty makes a difference in the quality of life for all humanity.

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